Introducing Professor Debra Parkes

Welcome, Professor Debra Parkes!

Welcome, Professor Debra Parkes

The CFLS is pleased to introduce Professor Debra Parkes, who has joined the Peter A. Allard School of Law as Chair in Feminist Legal Studies, as of July 1 2016. The Chair plays a leadership role at Allard Hall, as well as nationally and internationally, in fostering feminist research networks, mentoring JD and graduate students, and contributing to feminist scholarship addressing a range of issues. In this role, Debra will continue to build on the remarkable work of Professor Emerita Susan B. Boyd, the first incumbent of the Chair and Director of the Centre from 1997–2012. Professors Janine Benedet and Isabel Grant will continue as Co-Directors of the CFLS until January 1, 2017, at which time Professor Parkes will begin a three-year term as Director.

As a student at UBC Law School in the mid-1990s, Professor Parkes benefitted first-hand from the support of the CFLS. The Centre provided an opportunity to interact with academics, lawyers, and community leaders who were making a difference on feminist issues. In her time in practice following law school, as well as during the past 15 years as an academic, Professor Parkes has lent her expertise to such key feminist legal organizations as (to name only a few):

  • Canadian Journal of Women and the Law (as Editor-in-Chief from 2009-2013)
  • Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)
  • National Association of Women and the Law
  • Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
  • Elizabeth Fry Society of Manitoba

Professor Parkes’ particular research interests relate to the criminalization and imprisonment of women. She has published widely in this and other areas. She is a regular commentator in the media and contributor to judicial education and continuing legal education seminars. Students will be excited to know that Professor Parkes is looking forward to dropping into the Marlee Kline room regularly for tea and conversation, and that she is delighted to be teaching LAW 307 Women, Law & Social Change in Fall 2016.

The Centre is very much looking forward to this new chapter in Professor Parkes’ capable hands, and would like to extend a very warm welcome to her from our community!

To learn more about Professor Parkes’ background, specific research interests, and what she’s looking forward to at UBC, see here for a Q&A.

Special Issue – International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy

This special edition of the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, volume 5(2) entitled “Fighting Feminism: Organized Opposition to Women’s Rights”, is now available.

This issue presents an additional series of papers produced by scholars who participated in the workshop entitled “Men’s Groups: Challenging Feminism”. The workshop, organized by Susan B Boyd, Professor Emerita and then Chair in Feminist Legal Studies at the Allard School of Law, UBC, aimed to bring together feminist scholars from multiple disciplines and multiple national contexts to explore a source of resistance to feminism that has been largely overlooked in scholarly research: the growing number of nationally situated and globally linked organizations acting in the name of men’s rights and interests which contend that men are discriminated against in law, education and government funding, and that feminism is to blame for this.

This volume is a companion to the special issue of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law volume 28(1). For more about that issue, see our recent post.


June 16: The Ghomeshi Verdict – What’s Next?


Let’s Talk About Changing the System

On Thursday, June 16, three panelists, including our very own Janine Benedet, will explore the fallout from the Jian Ghomeshi verdict and discuss how legal, policing and community systems can better support survivors of sexual assault and violence. The panel discussion will begin at 6:15pm, following the YWCA Annual General Meeting.*

*Only interested in attending the public event? No problem! Feel free to arrive at 5:45 for refreshments.

See the poster for event details. Click here for more information on the panelists and to register!

The Ghomeshi Verdict: What's Next

The Ghomeshi Verdict: What’s Next


Upcoming: Vancouver Writers Fest

Incite May 4 (Invitation)
Incite: Memoirs of Identity, Arts and Politics
On Wednesday, May 4, three outspoken women writers will give a FREE talk about their experiences confronting identity, arts and politics, as recounted in their memoirs. Featuring Canadian singer-song writer Bif Naked (I, Bificus), poet and writer Betsy Warland (Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas) and writer and actress Carmen Aguirre (Mexican Hooker # 1). This event is part of Incite, a free, bi-monthly series from the Vancouver Writers Fest that runs March – May.
 Event details:
Wednesday May 4th at 7:30pm: 
Alice MacKay Room, VPL Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Lindy West (Invitation)
Shrill ­­­‑ Lindy West in Vancouver
On Wednesday, June 8, Lindy West will be in conversation with The Globe & Mail’s Marsha Lederman, discussing everything from pop culture, social justice, body image and beyond. Lindy West is an American writer, editor and performer, who writes for The GuardianGQ and is the founder of editor of I Believe You | It’s Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens. This event celebrates West’s eagerly anticipated literary debut,Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman.
Event details: 
Wednesday June 8th at 7:30pm
The Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street, Vancouver
Tickets are only $20 and available here.